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Valve claims VR nausea is developers’ fault

2 min read

VR sickness

Virtual Reality is coming into our hearts and homes soon. All the major companies are on board with the technology and it’s looking and feel better than ever. I even managed to get some face on with VR at E3 without feeling ill, which was already a success in my book. According to Valve, though, that had nothing to do with the hardware that I used, but rather the developer’s implementation.

Valve has already said this before, saying that Valve VR will have a “zero percent” chance of making people nauseous. But we all know that no matter how good the technology is, it depends on what people do with it. There are plenty of games out there that haven’t made me experience simulator sickness, but also plenty that have – a lot of it came down to training my brain, but some games can still make me feel queasy.

According to Valve’s Chet Fallszek, the developer, not the hardware, is responsible for making people sick.

The idea that VR must get you sick is [bullshit]. We have people come in who don’t want to do demos. In a party of ten people there will be someone who says, ‘I’m gonna be sick, I’m gonna be sick, I can’t do this.’

That expectation is based on either what they’ve seen before or what they’ve heard.

[…] As consumers and people in the community, hold developers to it. They shouldn’t be making you sick. It’s no longer the hardware’s fault any more. It’s the developers making choices that are making you sick. Tell them that you don’t want that.

He went on to link to to input methods as well – players who use motion controls are less likely to feel ill than those using traditional controllers. When I experienced VR, I had an awesome experience using PS Move controllers, an average one using a normal controller and a horrible one using the Oculus’s built in gyroscope to determine flying movement. While I agree that developers can make the difference between good and bad experiences, I don’t think anyone can claim that their hardware is 100% free of motion sickness. Certain movements, experiences and visuals can trigger things for the viewer, even subconsciously, and make the brain revolt and cause simulator sickness.

Last Updated: September 29, 2015

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